Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

A Novel

eBook - 2010
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When retired Major Pettigrew strikes up an unlikely friendship with Mrs. Ali, the Pakistani village shopkeeper, he is drawn out of his regimented world and forced to confront the realities of life in the twenty-first century. Brought together by a shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship on the cusp of blossoming into something more. But although the Major was actually born in Lahore, and Mrs. Ali was born in Cambridge, village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as a permanent foreigner. The Major has always taken special pride in the village, but will he be forced to choose between the place he calls home and a future with Mrs....
Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, c2010
ISBN: 9780385668651
Characteristics: 1 online resource


From Library Staff

If you like the quirky, sardonic and witty writing of books like Zadie Smith's White Teeth try this novel; it takes a humorous look at life in modern and multicultural England.

A cross-cultural love story involving a retired army officer and the widowed Pakistani owner of

the local shop where he buys his tea.

an uncommon love story of a retired English major and a Pakistani shopkeeper in a small English village who bond over the loss of loved ones and a love for literature. The characters are relatable and the writing style is engaging and amusing.

Meet Major Ernest Pettigrew, a true Englishman who appreciates literature, decorum, wry wit, and thoughtful conversation over tea. Upon learning of his brother’s death, the Major, retired and a widower of six years, is shaken and alone. Only the kindness of Mrs. Jasmina Ali, a widowed Pakistani s... Read More »

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Aug 08, 2017

A story with depth and a powerful ending.
Hopeful that Ms. Simonson is working on a third novel.

Apr 13, 2017

File this one under "charm" and "delight." This novel tells the story of a British widower in his retirement years, wondering how he will fill the rest of his life. He connects with a village shopkeeper who is a Muslim and a widow. The two are both avid readers and have much in common but it's not clear if they will be able to overcome the cultural obstacles that conspire to keep them apart. Read this one slowly to enjoy the subtle language, sly humor, and pictures of life in a British village. And be patient with the fact that the action starts out slow. Your patience will be rewarded!

Mar 30, 2017

This English comedy of manners swept me away with its romantic and comedic flair. The author develops a wry sense of the outlandish in her well-developed stock characters and their self-absorbed world, but it’s done with charm and pokerfaced humour that had me guffawing out loud. That’s not to negate the issues that the story also tackles – traditionalist values vs modernization, racism, gossip/slander – Simonson’s writing has huge heart. A wonderful blend of entertainment and intelligent contemplation.

Oct 27, 2016

I found Simonson's latest book on a "books to read" list and started with this one. It's a story of 2 older people finding love in the midst of family and community disapproval. The plot twists keep it interesting and the Major's wit made it a fun read.

May 06, 2016

Too many characters - hard to keep everyone straight - couldn't get thru' the book

Apr 18, 2016

Save for the abrupt departure from the rest of the story toward the end, the book was simply brilliant. Very English. And there was a lot to think about in the subtle prejudices people incorporate in their daily lives without thinking themselves in the least bit prejudice.

Feb 26, 2016

Oh my, this book had me from the first page. So charming and refreshingly free of bad language and tons of gratuitous sex. Just delightful. I highly recommend it!

Jun 25, 2015

Great insight into the social changes happening in the UK plus a great story!

Jun 09, 2015

[IMPAC Dublin FINALIST] A lovely read about Mjr Pettigrew, a recently widowed man in small town England. When sympathy is extended from an unlikely source, Mjr Pettigrew slowly gains a new friend; much to the consternation of the community in which he lives as well as his friend’s Asian family. Class conflict – yes. Social bias – yes. Prejudice from both sides – yes. Tradition vs modernity - also yes. A novel that deals with pre-conceived notions and society. (This book had so much to say).

May 20, 2015

Yuck. Where do I start? At the one dimensional characterizations, the obnoxiously sarcastic writing style, the ridiculous romance that defies belief or the lovely genteel story that turns into a bloodbath at the end? Is this a romantic idyll or a horror novel? A nice idea that's been horribly executed.

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Aug 06, 2016

bbock291 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Jan 30, 2011

Romance of a very English retired Major and a Pakistani shopkeeper in a small English village. Likeable characters, although some rather caricatured. Gentle humour. The plot is a bit thin with some unlikely events and the pace rather slow in the middle section.


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Aug 06, 2016

(Pettigrew is talking with Mrs. Ali about a proposed housing development for the rich.)

"...Makes me feel old and foolish." He said. "I assumed progress couldn't touch our little corner of the world."

"It's not about progress. It's about greed."


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